Asked and Answered

Asked and Answered: September 8

Let's get to it:

The no-huddle offense that Ben Roethlisberger used in his first and only appearance of the preseason – in New Orleans against the Saints – was extremely effective. What stamina do you feel he has and how long do you feel the offense can execute this style during the game?

ANSWER: Running the no-huddle offense requires all of the players involved to be highly-conditioned, and in different ways. The no-huddle stresses a wide receiver differently than an offensive tackle, for instance, and while there is a physical conditioning aspect of this for the quarterback as well, there are other more important qualities Ben Roethlisberger brings to the no-huddle than simply endurance. Both Mike Tomlin and Todd Haley praised Roethlisberger for the shape he was in when camp opened, and deservedly so, but it's more about his command and communication skills and understanding of both the offense and what the defense is trying to do that makes him so effective in the no-huddle. A strong and accurate arm doesn't hurt, either. And with Roethlisberger at quarterback, I also don't foresee a situation where the Steelers should be wary of running the no-huddle this season, with severe weather being the only caveat.

When the Steelers re-sign someone like Steven Johnson after he was cut and didn't make the initial 53-man roster, does Johnson get his original contract or do the Steelers sign him to a new contract probably for less than the original money?

ANSWER: I cannot speak to the amount on the new contract – and I wouldn't automatically assume it was a lesser amount – but there has to be a new contract written, signed and executed with the league office. Legal formalities.

With the new rule regarding IR and the "designated to return" provision, can you explain the 2016 status for Senquez Golson, Bud Dupree, and Ladarius Green? Can they all come back and play this year under the new provision or are the Steelers limited by whom they can tag to potentially return? It would be great to see all three of them contribute in 2016, because I believe they were all viewed as potential impact players in 2016.

ANSWER: Let's start by explaining – once again and for the last time, people – which player is subject to which set of rules. Senquez Golson is on the 53-man roster. Lisfranc injury aside, surgery aside, whatever you're reading on the internet from "surgeons" who didn't perform the operation and therefore have NO FIRST-HAND knowledge of the specifics of Golson's injury or the procedure done to fix it aside, he is on the 53-man roster. Just like Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown and Ryan Shazier. As a member of the 53-man roster, Senquez Golson could be active for the Redskins game. That's not going to happen, but there are no rule/list restrictions on him.


Ladarius Green is on PUP. That list is only for players who have not taken part in a single practice or played in any preseason game since training camps opened across the league back in late July. By remaining on PUP through the final roster cuts, Green must miss the first six weeks of the regular season, and then he will be eligible to return. Bud Dupree – as of this writing – is the only player of the three who is eligible for IR/designated to return. He was on the 53-man roster for 24 hours and then placed on injured reserve. The Steelers don't have to declare the designated-to-return player until they decide to use it on a particular guy, and they can use it on Dupree after he misses the first eight weeks of the season.**

You responded to a previous question in the last segment of Asked and Answered by saying Jack Lambert was the most beloved Steelers player of all time. I'm in total agreement. I wonder though, if things had somehow worked out differently, if that distinction couldn't have gone to Troy Polamalu. I'd be hard-pressed into thinking anyone else could light up the field with as much love and affection like Troy did in his day. What's the one thing you remember most fondly about No. 43?

ANSWER: To be accurate, it was my "guess" that Jack Lambert would be recognized by most Steelers fans in a most beloved vote, but if such a vote ever was held it wouldn't surprise me a bit if Troy Polamalu was the people's choice. My favorite memory of Troy Polamalu was his pick-six in the 2008 AFC Championship Game against the Baltimore Ravens. A vintage Polamalu play, from its execution to its impact.

Who was the GM during the great 1974 draft?

ANSWER: The Steelers had no one who had the title of general manager back in those days. Art Rooney Sr. was the owner, Dan Rooney was the President, Art Rooney Jr. was a Vice President, and Dick Haley was the Director of Player Personnel. Also involved in the the work on the 1974 draft class that brought Lynn Swann, Jack Lambert, John Stallworth, and Mike Webster to the team as draft picks, plus Donnie Shell and Randy Grossman as college free agents, were Bill Nunn and Chuck Noll.

In regards to the Steelers travel plans in November, with back-to-back road games first in Cleveland and then four days later in Indianapolis on Thanksgiving, will the team head back to Pittsburgh after the Browns game or just travel straight to Indianapolis?

ANSWER: The Steelers will return to Pittsburgh immediately after playing the Browns in Cleveland, and then they will travel by charter plane to Indianapolis on the day before the game against the Colts. Everything that would be involved in setting up a de facto practice facility for a few days is more trouble than it would be worth, especially considering how short the trip from Cleveland to Pittsburgh is, and then how short of a flight it is from Pittsburgh to Indianapolis.

Regarding the signing of William Gay, was he brought in solely to be the third quarterback, or do you think he can take over the backup position from Landry Jones?

ANSWER: Zach Mettenberger was claimed off waivers to be the No. 3 quarterback here. As for the future, it should be noted that Landry Jones can become an unrestricted free agent after the 2016 season, and Mettenberger doesn't reach free agency until after the 2017 season.

Aloha! How about bringing in Vic Ketchman for a few guest "Ask Vic" columns for now that he's semi-retired?

ANSWER: I place Vic Ketchman in the same category as Heath Miller, when it comes to "coming out of retirement," as in both of them are too smart for that. And besides, Vic wouldn't fit under the salary cap.

Do you believe that "the only stupid question is the one not asked?"

ANSWER: No, because that wouldn't cover this one.

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